The year of Assassins

With all the fuss last week about the discontinuation of Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk, you’d have thought publishers would be more cautious with their IPs and not allow them to suffer the same fate. But Ubisoft are riding high on the success of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood which, so far has sold a whopping 6.5 million units. Sales like that mean a PC version is on the way soon and CEO Yves Guillemot revealed yesterday (via IGN) at an earnings call that 2011 will see a fourth game in the franchise, kick starting the series into becoming a yearly production. Guillemot specifically used the words “packaged title,” so it’ll either be a Brotherhood 2 or simply Assassin’s Creed 3, depending on how Ubisoft wish to continue the story, rather than a DLC offering. Guillemot refused to give any other details until May so you’ve got a few months of speculating to fill.

Back in November last year, Guillemot spoke of his interest in giving the game an annual release schedule but his latest comments have made it official. Good news for fans of the series but if anything can be learnt from the demise of Activision’s once lofty titles it’s that nothing lasts forever. It happened to Madden, it happened to FIFA and, as absurd as it may sound now, it’ll happen to Call of Duty too if Activision isn’t careful. All publishers who try and repeat their success over a relatively short timescale will find it harder and harder to do so. Assassin’s Creed is still young and evidently extremely popular but I’d hate to see it become a tired cash cow instead of the great franchise it is today.

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